Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

Bandthropology 101

Friday, April 24, 2009

On Wednesday we talked with a sociologist about the "community" of music listeners known as Deadheads. Traveling tribes of Grateful Dead fans really do form a community, Rebecca Adams of UNC-Greensboro told us, despite not having a single fixed place to live - which one would think would be a ...

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The Euphoria of Ambiguity

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm here to tell you that it WAS possible to be an impressionable teenager in the '70s and fall under the sway of both La Monte Young, the godfather of Minimalism, master of drones, creator of magical overtone effects and abstruse theories of music and mathematics; and The Ramones. That ...

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Bring out your deadheads

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In our miniseries of shows on Super Fans, you just had to know there'd be a time when we focused on the ultimate Super Fans - that curious tribe of wandering fans known as Deadheads. For decades, two or even three generations of them crisscrossed the country in their beat ...

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Are record stores worth saving?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On the face of it, it seems a ridiculous question. Are record stores worth saving? I'm a huge music fan - of course I'm supposed to think they're worth saving. And I do... kind of. Just not for me. Record stores are for the nostalgic, and the audiophiles, and the ...

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NYC's Steve Reich Wins Pulitzer in Music

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Pulitzer Prizes were announced this afternoon, and among the winners -- New York based composer Steve Reich was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music. WNYC's John Schaefer was a member of the Pulitzer Prize Jury that chose Reich.

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News from New Orleans

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's getting close to 4 years since the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina put the plight of New Orleans on the front page of the news. And inevitably, it has been pushed further and further down the list of daily news stories. But things in New Orleans are not yet "back ...

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What's music worth?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Your favorite record. It's not just a collection of songs. Your favorite record means something to you; it moves you - to dance, or to think, or to plot the overthrow of the government, or to just sit there and feel a chill rush up your spine. If someone asked ...

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How Super Are Supergroups?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jack White will sleep when he's dead. Which may be sooner than he thinks if he doesn't stop forming bands and trying to keep them all going at once. The guitarist/singer from White Stripes and The Raconteurs is now the drummer in Dead Weather, another "supergroup" that also features Allison ...

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Baby You Can Drive My Eco-car

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It seemed like such a good idea at the time... Neil Young has sung about cars before - in fact, you could do a whole program of classic rock songs about cars - and he must've thought he'd struck gold with the idea behind his new album, Fork In The ...

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The Philanthropic Orchestra?

Monday, April 13, 2009

An orchestra has often meant more than just music. Like those medieval European towns that built cathedrals so they could be attain the status of a "major" town or city, orchestras have often been seen as a statement of a city's cultural status, financial and demographic stability, and status as ...

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Just Say 'No' - To Nostalgia

Friday, April 10, 2009

Between musicals like Hair and Rock of Ages, the popularity of video games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, and the black hole that is reality TV's Rock of Love, there appears to be an awful lot of nostalgia for the sounds of classic rock. But not so fast - ...

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I get by with a little help from my backing tracks

Thursday, April 09, 2009

When my daughter turned 16, she asked for a karaoke machine for her birthday. I had no idea what to expect, really - a boombox with a cd and a book of lyrics perhaps. I didn't realize there would be a screen that displayed the lyrics as the song progressed, ...

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Why not boo?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Say what you will about people, the fact is that they seem to become quite nice once you put them in a theater or concert hall. People will apparently applaud anything, and concerts routinely end in standing ovations. In fact, it's all become "routine." We applaud politely between songs when ...

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Back to the Fusion

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

You know that Biblical tale of Abraham and the city of Sodom? God says, I've had it with Sodom. All that sin and corruption and stuff. (I might be paraphrasing a bit here.) Abraham says, well wait a minute, are you going to destroy the good with the bad? What ...

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Change we can believe in

Monday, April 06, 2009

Why would musicians who've successfully built a sound and a fan base and a career suddenly jeopardize all that by switching gears? Why would the Yeah Yeah Yeahs leave behind the jangly guitar rock that got them a gold record and go all 80s-synth on us? Why would Chris Cornell, ...

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The Return of Son of Grunge II: the Re-Grunging

Friday, April 03, 2009

So "Grunge" is back, they tell us. The early 1990s movement that, like its stepfather, punk, came to be associated with both music and fashion, is back in the record stores (where such things can still be found) and on the runways.

The fashion part of this revival strikes ...

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To Be, or Not To Be... Topical

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Late last year, a reporter from one of the big UK newspapers called and asked if I thought that tough times produced darker moments in pop music. I told him that I thought it was the reverse - when you look at the popular music of the Great Depression, the ...

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Music and Emotion

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Today we're looking at a German study that shows that a remote Cameroonian group known as the Mafa were correctly able to identify Western music as being happy, sad, or fearful, even though they'd not heard any Western music before.

This study is quite provocative because it suggests that ...

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rock band, or Rock Band?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm a big believer in the idea that anything that gets kids interested in playing music is worth supporting. Supporters of the interactive music video-games, Guitar Hero and Rock Band, have been claiming that the games will lead the kids who play them to try real instruments - in other ...

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Rock on, for the end is near!

Monday, March 30, 2009

On Friday, we finished our seven-part weekly series, Seven Sins: The Deadly Medley. The so-called Seven Deadly Sins certainly turned out to be fertile ground for music of all types... I think we all knew going in that Lust was going to be an easy one to focus on, ...

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